Trump transition team accuses Mueller of unlawfully obtaining private emails

Frederick Owens
December 18, 2017

The emails pertain to 13 senior transition officials and many include national security discussions about possible Trump worldwide aims.

This person reportedly said that the transition, which still exists in order to wind-down the operation, will send Special Counsel Robert Mueller a letter demanding investigators return the emails. Langhofer argues the communications were not theirs to share.

According to Mr Langhofer, the assurance was made by then-GSA general counsel Richard Beckler, who was in hospital in August and has since died.

Kory Langhofer, an Arizona-based attorney representing Trump for America, spelled out the complaint in a seven-page letter sent Saturday to the main House and Senate oversight committees where he raises potential violations of attorney-client privilege and the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unlawful search and seizure.

Mueller was appointed earlier this year as a Justice Department special counsel to determine whether Trump associates colluded with Moscow to influence the outcome of the 2016 White House race.

This dispute over the lawful obtaining of this batch of emails is the latest in a series of ongoing attacks, particularly from conservatives, on the Department of Justice investigation looking into what role Russian Federation played in interfering in the 2016 presidential election.

Langhofer claimed that Lenny Loewentritt, deputy counsel for the GSA, was present for Beckler's conversations with the Trump transition's legal representation, and accused Loewentritt of "working with" the GSA staffers who gave Mueller the materials.

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There are rumors around Washington suggesting Trump's firing of Mueller is imminent.

Among the officials who used transition email accounts was former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to a count of making false statements to FBI agents in January and is now cooperating with Mueller's investigation. That followed criminal indictments against Manafort and Gates on charges that include money laundering and tax evasion. Both men pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation agents. A source speaking on the condition of anonymity told CNN that Trump lawyers are planning a meeting with the special counsel as soon as next week.

As the Trump transition complaint surfaced Saturday, several Democrats and former Justice officials cautioned that it may be an additional attempt at casting doubt on Mueller's integrity. What are they afraid was found?

During a House Judiciary Committee last week, Republicans slammed the special counsel's office over what they said was the Democratic-leaning bias of some of its key lawyers and investigators.

The letter added that a warrant should have been obtained for such materials, and said it violated the Presidential Transition Act.

The documents were provided to Mueller's team by the GSA in September in response to requests from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, but the transition wasn't informed at the time, according to people familiar with the transition organization.

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